Zibits robots march onto iPhone

Why non-game companies think of the App Store as the advergaming store

If you haven't heard of Zibits, you better brush up because they'll be plastered in front of your face for the holiday shopping season. The remote-controlled robots arepopular children all over the country and now they're already getting the iPhone game treatment.

Zibits are small robotic creatures, a little more than two inches tall, that move in response to remote control inputs. They light up, make sound effects, and can turn in full 360-degree movements. In the iPhone game Sibits Rush, developed by ChaYoWo Games and the toy's creator Senario, the creatures are plopped in a typical side-scrolling action game.

"The new iPhone game for Zibits is almost as fun as the real robots! This is just the first of many digital media experiences planned for the Zibits brand. We are currently reviewing opportunities for other hand held devices, PCs and console gaming," said Senario CEO Mike Nakamura.

There used to be a time when a fad had to sustain itself for years before any game developer or publisher would touch it. Now, a toy that just came out and started gaining some nominal attention is already on the fast-track to the App Store.

Above: Sure, this looks just as fun as owning a real robot, right?

It seems to have increasingly become the new way to extend marketing efforts and quickly build up a new brand. Gone are the days when something needed to be a truly colossal success before it started branching out into other forms of media.

Zibits robots cost around $15 each, while the iPhone game only charges 99 cents for admission. Good news for cheap parents who want to pretend their childrenwon't know the difference.

Oct 25, 2010

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